How I Learned Geography (pdf) | PaperityIn an autobiographical story, Shulevitz recounts an event from his childhood, when In an autobiographical story, Shulevitz recounts an event from his childhood, when his refugee family had fled to Turkestan. At a time when his family was poor and hungry, his father spent what little money they had on a map of the world instead of on food. After getting over his initial anger and disappointment, young Uri developed a fascination with the map, at first for the bright colors and then for the details that would spur his artistic imagination as he dreamed of faraway places he could visit vicariously. An endnote includes a photograph of the author at age seven and two drawings he made while he was a child: a map of Africa, drawn at age ten, and a marketplace in Turkestan, drawn when he was thirteen. Images courtesy of publishers, organizations, and sometimes their Twitter handles. Skip to main content Skip to footer.
How I Learned Geography Worksheets and Literature Unit
Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books I had no toys and no books. Worst of all: food was scarce. A tribute to the powers of wide imaginative horizons, this gains impact from its basis in Shulevitz' own experiences, which give it reality beyond mere wishful thinking. Ragged right text is clear and straightforward but vivid, and small memorable touches—such as the boy's resentment at his neighbor's loud chewing and his incantation of place names taken from the map—add dimensionality. Watercolor illustrations avoid demonizing the boy's real life: the town Turkestan, according to Shulevitz' note looks like an interesting place, but the family's dull patched clothes speaks to their privations and contrasts them with the teeming colorfully turbaned prior inhabitants. Chunky lines and sweeps of washy watercolor gain additional textures in the map worlds, with soft intricate details in nubbly fresco-like surfaces or cities evincing a polish and regularity of pattern in their multiwindowed skyscrapers that suggests photocollage even as the changing colors recall the traditional map hues.
Caldecott Honor Book. Having fled from war in their troubled homeland, a boy and his family are living in poverty in a strange country. Food is scarce, so when the boy's father brings home a map instead of bread for supper, at first the boy is furious. But when the map is hung on the wall, it floods their cheerless room with color. As the boy studies its every detail, he is transported to exotic places without ever leaving the room, and he eventually comes to realize that the map feeds him in a way that bread never could. The award-winning artist's most personal work to date is based on his childhood memories of World War II and features stunning illustrations that celebrate the power of imagination. An author's note includes a brief description of his family's experience, two of his early drawings, and the only surviving photograph of himself from that time.
Driven from home by a "war [that] devastated the land," a family flees to a remote city in the steppes. One day, the father returns from the market not with bread for supper but with a wall-filling map of the world. Shulevitz's rhythmic, first-person narrative reads like a fable for young children. Its autobiographical dimension, however, will open up the audience to older grade-schoolers, with an endnote describing Shulevitz's life as a refugee in Turkestan after the Warsaw blitz, in World War II including his childhood sketch of the real map. Whether enjoyed as a reflection of readers' own imaginative travels or used as a creative entree to classroom geography units, this simple, poignant offering will transport children as surely as the map it celebrates.
Source: StoryLine Online
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